Once Again, “The Big C” Puts Skin Cancer in the Spotlight

Jun 21, 2011 2 Comments by

It’s back, a new season of “The Big C”, starting on Monday, June 27, 2011 on Showtime.

“The Big C” tells the story of Cathy Jamison, played by Laura Linney (pictured to the left), a wife and mother living in suburbia recently diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma (a deadly form of skin cancer). Her cancer forces her to shake up her life and find hope and humor in spite of her grim situation.

The show may not always accurately portray the life of someone battling skin cancer; however, it brings the topic to the center stage without scaring off viewers due to its morose background. It’s a comedy, but does not neglect that there is a serious story behind the series. The Skin Cancer Foundation has praised the show’s creator Darlene Hunt and the cast for increasing awareness for melanoma, which when found early, can be treatable. Melanoma is also preventable in some cases by using sun protection, as about 65 percent of melanoma cancers can be attributed to UV radiation according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

An Overview of “The Big C”

Cathy is a high school teacher who, at the start of the series, has been diagnosed with melanoma. Reluctant to burden those closest to her, she keeps it a secret for months, but later eventually reveals she has cancer to her husband and son. Her behavior takes a major turn from her reserved lifestyle as she makes reckless choices in the face of her fatality. At the end of the first season, she decides to undergo interleukin-2 (IL-2), a treatment option for those with Stage IV melanoma. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, about 10-16 percent of carefully selected patients on IL-2 regimens respond to the drug, and about 60 percent of those patients’ lives are significantly extended. The second season picks up from here.

Have you watched “The Big C”, and if so, what do you think? Is this a good topic for a television show? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or by commenting below.

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